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Contemplated quitting after World Cup snub: Jemimah Rodrigues

Jemimah Rodrigues hit a match-winning 38-ball unbeaten 53 in a seven-wicket win in India's Women's T20 World Cup opener on Sunday.

Contemplated quitting after World Cup snub: Jemimah Rodrigues

Jemimah Rodrigues



Updated: 13 Feb 2023 7:05 AM GMT

From touching the lowest ebb after the ODI World Cup snub in New Zealand last year to hitting the winning runs in victory over arch-rivals Pakistan in the T20 global event, Jemimah Rodrigues has done brilliantly to turn the corner in less than 12 months.

Rodrigues, who hit a match-winning 38-ball unbeaten 53 in a seven-wicket win in India's Women's T20 World Cup opener on Sunday, said at one point of time she even contemplated quitting the game.

"I think this time last year when I was at home and I was not in a good headspace because I was dropped from (India's) 50 World Cup squad. That was the toughest time for me, but there was so many people who helped me throughout this time," Rodrigues said at the post-match press conference.

"Honestly, many a time I had nothing to tell myself. I had, there were so many times I had given up, you know I didn't have the strength to carry (on) and I know a lot of people say you need to back yourself you need to motivate yourself but when a person is going through, they only know what they're going through," an emotional Rodrigues bared her heart during the interaction.

The support system is very important, she said. "I was blessed that I had people who believed in me and helped me push through that time so I am just grateful to them. It felt like that was that was one of the lowest phase of my life but it turned out to be the reason why I could come here today."

Rodrigues was grateful to her surroundings, especially her personal coach Prasanth Shetty and her father, to help her get out of that difficult phase. She went back to her basics and played against U-14 and U-19 boys at dusty Azad Maidan rank-turners, a decision which worked wonders.

"Yeah, so I had, like I said I taken a break, then I went back to my coach Prashant Shetty and my dad (Ivan) also, so both of them together. We worked out a plan, like, in a week I had to play two games, like more match time, and the rest I would practice. Sunday was my off-day.

"It is very challenging, in the morning there's so much dew. So, in that condition I had to play under-19 boys. So, putting myself in such situations actually helped me, getting out of my comfort zone," she said.

Playing against U-14 boys, Rodrigues was determined not to lose her wicket. "I played with under-14 boys. And the pressure of me being an India player playing with under-14 boys if I lose my wicket - it's embarrassing. I believe all these little things just build up and make you the player you are."

Rodrigues still regrets missing last year's 50-over World Cup in New Zealand and the time it took for her to come to terms with the snub. "I mean, we worked really hard during that time, and I remember that, I was not okay mentally. I had taken a break, because cricket is something I love playing for is something I love to do, love to play and the World Cup is a dream for every cricketer and missing out on that, it took me a while."

Rodrigues said she can't wait to play in the inaugural Women's Premier League, the auction of which is scheduled on Monday in Mumbai.

"Honestly, I just want to play the WPL. I am not bothered which team is going to pick me and I just want to be a part of it, because it's a dream come true for everyone in India and we waited very long for this and it's finally happening."

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